Holiday Horror Story 11/22/2019

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by C.J. Peterson

“Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected.”

– Jimmy Cannon

“Since I’m always working, my best holiday memories are definitely when I can just go home and spend time with my family.”

– Chris Brown

After weeks of making lists, checking the ads for sales, cleaning the house beyond immaculate, the day had finally arrived! Christmas Eve! It should have been a day of joy and blessing, but to her, but it was a day of pressure. It was a test she passed throughout the years, but would this be the year of failure? Her mother-in-law would visually inspect the house. Her father-in-law did his best to ease the tension. Her mother criticized the way she made the stuffing, because she didn’t follow the exact family recipe. Her father just wanted to watch the football game. Her brother and sister-in law were late, which caused a disagreement between her brother and mother – who wanted everything perfect. Her sister, the one blessing to her, didn’t show up this year, because she spent the holidays with her husband’s side of the family. Then there were the nieces and nephews running around the house, teasing each other…

…She lost it, and shouted, “CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!”

“Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you’re giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism.”

– Caroline Kennedy

The term ‘Happy Holidays’ seems to have been replaced by ‘Holiday Horror Stories.’ Come September, the holidays seem to blend together and get shoved out into the stores. It seems that Christmas decorations come out near the end of September…this year, the same time as the Halloween decorations came out. As far as Thanksgiving, you might as well hang it up. It has gotten lost in the blend. As soon as Halloween is over, the Christmas push began! In the middle of all of that, we have the hustle and bustle of preparing for family to come to the house, or for holiday travels to their house, creating havoc of Biblical proportions! There is not enough caffeine to help some moms through this time blessed, yet stressful, time!

In looking at our own family, we decided a few years ago to scale it way back. We are blessed, and have decided that family is a precious gift that is invaluable. This is the one time of the year, after all, that the entire family gets together as a group. Yes, we see various parts of the family throughout the year, however, this is the one time we are all together, and that is the best gift any of us could receive. We have a tablecloth project that I started a few years ago. Each person signs the tablecloth, with the year, in permanent marker. Then, after Christmas, I go through and stitch each signature. This will be a huge blessing this year, as my father passed in July. While we will not have him around the table, we will have his signature to remember him. So, in essence, he will be there in spirit.

To ease the tension of the Christmas meal on my sister, over the last few years, the various family members bring a portion of the meal with us. We also exchange names, so each person will receive a ‘stocking gift’ at a maximum price, and a ‘big gift’ at a maximum price. This eases the pocketbook on all family members, and knocks down the massive amount of gifts that tends to come from a big family.

As for Thanksgiving this year? Super Hubby and I are spending it at home. I’ll cook a turkey, along with some of the fixings, and we’ll eat off it for a few days, and then store the uneaten turkey in the freezer for future dinners.

In looking around this holiday, can you take some pressure off the head cook or the meeting house of choice for the holidays? If not, be prepared to leave the espresso on the counter and back away slowly!

Make it a Happy Holiday this year, instead of a Holiday Horror Story! 🙂

I'm a Little Stressed

About the Author:

CJ PetersonI was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

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